Do you view each day as a new beginning? Fortunately for us we serve a God of a second chance. God says in his word that a just man falls seven times. What makes him just? That he has the strength and courage to get back up and try again.
Sometimes we have good intentions that don’t turn out the way we’d hoped. That’s been happening with my daughters more often than I care to admit lately. Carmen will be 30 in March; eight days later Imani turns 24. For all intent and purposes, they are grown and have a strong desire for my adviser and protector role to decrease.
Carmen has a husband and two children. I have made it a point not to interfere with her marriage. I know that’s between her, her husband and God. Sometimes, I overstep my bounds, suggesting things for their children that she does not want to happen, or entering her space too frequently, and one time recently coming in unannounced. Both my daughters are smart, determined young women who are doing well in their respective lives. They are good people who value family and friendship. Their Dad and I raised them to work hard and live their lives to the fullest.
With grown children, there is a line parents must not cross. In Imani’s case, things are somewhat different. As a student, she still relies on us for moral and financial support — which as her parents we are happy to give. She is, however, 1,000 miles away and doesn’t need or want me meddling in certain aspects of her life.
This is a transition I’ve struggled with because I was so hands on when they were growing up. To them, I’m controlling. And I have to admit guilt on this one.
So once again in my life, I’ve found myself asking the Lord to make me over. It’s not the first time I’ve prayed this prayer. In fact, asking to be made over has been my constant prayer throughout my life when I’ve felt broken or when I have wronged someone or sinned in some other way. Make me a better wife, mother and grandmother; make me a better friend and co-worker. Most of all, Lord, make me a better Christian.
I’m sure I’m not alone in this prayer. It’s one that requires constant reflection and action. My father and I talk about it all the time. Like me, he has trouble letting go and letting God fight the battles we want to win for our family members. Sharing with other believers is part of that.
A week ago, my seven-year-old grandson asked me why so many people were crying in church. First and foremost, the church is the body of Christ. It’s a place we come to mend to our broken spirits and to renew our strength. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the medicine. The music is the balm. The fellowship with other believers causes reflection and offers us hope that we can achieve what we’ve ask God for.
Sometimes people cry, shout or sing praises for what God has done in their lives. Sometimes it’s for what we want him to do. Releasing those tears into the universe has power. It’s okay to cry in church, I told Austin. God is moving; God is making us over.
Faith to change requires work on our parts too. I am willing to do that work. Are you?